Are you planning to buy a house in Kenya and wondering how long it’ll take to close, allowing you to enjoy your new home? Buying a house in Kenya’s modern digitized real estate industry is relatively straightforward. The simplest answer about how long it takes to buy a house in Kenya would be 90 days. However, this only accounts for the period after striking an agreement with the seller to process completion and closing. The duration can be significantly shortened following a mutual understanding between the parties, which speeds up the process. A complete view of how long it takes to buy a house requires considering the steps involved. Here is a glance at the typical steps.

Financial Considerations

How much can you afford? Are you relying on a mortgage, or have you saved enough cash? You can hit the market and start searching for a dream house with the finances in order. Your finances define aspects such as the house type, size, and features you can afford, which makes your search more streamlined. You are in a position to make firm offers and negotiate since you have the finances to proceed after landing a great bargain. Since buying a house isn’t something you wake up one morning and decide to do, you’ve been planning, meaning you may have already taken months in your home ownership journey.

Due diligence

You know the house you want and the ideal location. For instance, you may have decided you want a 2-bedroom house in Syokimau. As you begin the search, do you know what to check when buying a house? Besides the cosmetic features, you must dig deeper and establish if a house is structurally fit. You probably aren’t best suited for this, so working with professional property inspectors is recommended. The professionals will thoroughly inspect the house from the foundation to the roof and everything in between, giving you a detailed report about its structural integrity. This takes hours, which depends on the house size.

Besides the house, you also have to vet the seller. Do they own the home, and are there pending issues? You can search online through the e-Citizen portal or visit the offices. An online search can be completed in hours, while a physical approach typically takes not more than three days. Due diligence ensures you are buying from a legitimate seller and that the house is in excellent condition.

Make an offer to purchase

You’ve found the house, talked to the seller, and agreed on the price and other sales terms. The next step is drafting the offer to purchase, also known as an agreement of purchase and sale. Working with a property lawyer is advised when drafting the agreement. The legal document includes names (buyer and seller’s), property address, price, deposit amount, and closing day, which is the day you take over the house after the seller accepts the offer to purchase, typically within 90 days, as mentioned earlier.

The offer to purchase can also include other details per the parties’ agreements, such as a request for appraisal, home report, and current land survey, to mention a few. In such cases, the contract becomes legally abiding after the demands are met. This is the point sellers and buyers can utilize to expedite the process by dealing with the requests before drafting the offer to purchase.

Close the deal

The seller can agree to the offer or make a counter. If they make a counter offer, you can assess the situation and determine whether it is worth it or make your counter. After striking an agreement, the transfer can progress. This mainly involves working with a lawyer. The lawyer submits the documents to the land’s office to register the house transfer. Typical documents include sellers’ title deed, clearance certificates, consent transfer, and a form for valuation since stamp duty is required. After this, you clear the remaining balance and pay the lawyer’s fee and taxes within 30 days.

So, the 90-day window isn’t the only period you need to consider when planning to buy a house. It would be best to account for the time you’ll take to find a house, which is shorter with a real estate agent’s help, undertake due diligence, make an offer, negotiate, and come to a legally binding agreement.